10:39 AM, 15th June 2021, About 11 months ago 9
My tenant friend and work colleague fell and died on his Landlord’s Stairs. This is the letter that I propose sending to the local council.
“During the Christmas week of 2020, T fell down the exterior iron stairs at Flat 35b **********, which gives access to a number of bedsits (usually termed as HMOs). He was airlifted to hospital and died of severe head injuries shortly after.
“The local community police officer arranged a meeting with T’s wife, me (friend/employer) and the owner plus one of the other occupants. The community officer, Ms PCSO and I were let in by one of the occupiers. The Landlord did not even have the decency to turn up!
On inspection, I noticed that there were a number of rooms at this – third-floor level – and when questioned the occupier reluctantly confirmed that they were all occupied. I asked him some other questions about the tenure, but he refused to answer and repaired to his room.
“I discussed the health and safety issue with the PCSO but she said that she was only there to get us in and observe while T’s wife retrieved some of his personal possessions.
“I assumed, incorrectly it seems, that an official inquiry would be set up by the police.
“This 4-level building clearly comes under the HMO regulations if let out and flat B clearly had 4 let out rooms.
“Additionally, T gave Mr Occupier (a tenant acting as Landlord’s agent) a £390 deposit which after the accident, £90 was heartlessly deducted to cover the cost of carpet cleaning and non-return of the keys (which in fact were being held back by the police).”
My question is; the deposit does not appear to have been registered in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme and therefore is his beneficiary entitled to 3 times the deposit plus the full deposit because of this oversight?
Also, does the Landlord or acting Landlord have a legal obligation to perform certain functions, one of which is to protect the deposit & provide the prescribed information alongside that protection? And does not protecting the deposit mean that there are no circumstances under which T can keep ANY of it and is maybe liable to penalties?
Additionally, there are twenty steps in all, which include one unequally spaced concrete step at ground level, 15 open backed and 4 at the top – with enclosed backs – leading to the only landing. There are no yellow nosings. https://imgur.com/a/Jfrmkgv illustrates
I found this on the internet, which might help my case;
EXTERNAL STAIRCASES AND STEPS
● Staircases and steps should be constructed and be in such a condition to prevent occupants tripping or falling. Staircases should have adequate handrails, guarding and lighting. There should be no projections into or obstruction on a staircase.
● Staircases should be protected from adverse weather conditions and should be of a non-slip nature. There should be no open risers on staircases.
I am a retiring Landlord myself and apart from not installing safety landings, registering the deposit and HMO. I wouldn’t dream of making a deduction of any kind when the tenant had only resided with me for less than 2-weeks and fell down my stairs.
I would appreciate your comments on where I should go from here.
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